Author: Perko PM
An exploration of the choice Jade made to give Lord Mantle control of the alliance and how she gained control of the battle moons for the assault on Remora. Contains Graveheart/Jade pairing.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Words: 2,475 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 2 - Published: 03-24-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4153327
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
– The Bargain –
Their first clue was when the monitors went fuzzy.
"What's wrong with the communication screens" barked the Rock Captain, Feldspar.
"We don't know; it seems they've been temporarily put off line". Answered one of his men. It was a few minutes before,
"Captain, we have incoming"
"What is it?" Feldspar asked.
"A ship, alien, by our scanners"
The rock quarriors watched as the small ship, now evidently an ice blade wing, approached the battle moon.
"Could be the ice trash, Cryos…he has some nerve showing up here again."
"Shall we destroy it, Captain?"
"Wait, there's a message coming through" Feldspar pressed a button to allow the transmission through.
"Put it on screen" he said to the quarrior at the control desk. The man pressed another button and Jade's head came into view. She wore a rather haughty look on her face.
"YOU! What are you doing here!?" Feldspar said incredulously.
"Well, I would request a meeting with Lord Mantle, but it seems you think I am the 'ice trash' Cryos and desire my destruction" she smirked.
"You tapped into our communication line!"
"Offcourse, who else knows your weaknesses so well"
Feldspar didn't like the superior look she was giving him. It made him feel small, probably her intention.
"You have no business here Jade…"
"Arrgg! Feldspar, tell Lord Mantle that I would like to speak with him, as his ex-commander not as a member of the alliance." The authority in her voice made Feldspar jump slightly,
"Just do it!"
"Alright" he groused. Feldspar minimised Jade's screen and then went on direct call to Lord Mantle. The king's head soon emerged on the large screen.
"What is it commander!?" he said sharply.
"Ah…we have an ice ship asking to enter our world…"
"AND YOU BOTHER ME WITH THIS, DESTROY IT!" roared Lord Mantle. Stones could be heard falling from his throne, a result of many angry poundings. Feldspar cowered slightly but continued,
"The ship does not have any insects present, it's your ex-guard, Jade, requesting a meeting with you." Lord Mantle's anger faded, but only slightly,
"Tell her I have no interest in their useless alliance."
"She's…not here as a member of the alliance." Lord Mantle looked surprised. A flash of curiosity crossed his stony features. There was a pause.
"Very well…she has safe passage, for now" And with that the line disconnected. Jade's head swam on the screen once more,
"You've been cleared command…I mean…Arrgg, you can go through" Feldspar spluttered. Every time he saw her he had to remind himself that she was no longer his captain. It was strange, maybe because Jade had been in command for so many years, or maybe it was just her feistiness that demanded respect.
Jade nodded at this and then with a wink her head vanished and the mobile blade wing took off for planet rock.
Earlier that morning; the morning of the intended assault upon Remora, found Jade walking towards Graveheart's quarters. She had been meditating on which course of action she could take that would best help the alliance and, in her opinion, there was only one way of an assured win against the beast drones. Her mind made up; she strode confidently down the ice palace.
Upon reaching Graveheart's room she knocked firmly and waited. It was early, maybe a bit too early for him to be up; she smirked to herself and knocked again. This time the door opened to reveal a very groggy and hastily dressed Graveheart.
"Jade? Do you know what time it is!?"
"Yes…can I come in?"
"Yeah, Offcourse" Rubbing his eyes, he moved aside for her to pass. Jade walked in self-assuredly, a smirk once again present when she saw how rushed his dressing had been, there were various clothing items on the floor. Graveheart shut the door and turned to see her amused expression,
"It's three in the morning, did you expect me to be up and dressed" he said, stuffing the mess into a closet. After shutting it, he sat down on the bed.
"So…what can I help you with?" he asked. Jade walked over to the window (it was still dark, but that didn't seem to faze her) and peered outside, her back to Graveheart.
"I've been thinking about how I can best help you and this alliance in the coming battle and I have decided on a course of action. The drawback is that it will keep me from the initial assault." She waited for this to sink in. Graveheart, who was still half asleep, suddenly became wide awake,
"What! You're not going to be there! Jade the alliance needs you…"
Jade turned from the dark window, only to find Graveheart in front of her. He placed his hands on her shoulders,
"…I need you"
A smile tugged at Jade's features.
"Do you trust me?" she asked softly.
"With my life" he answered, one hand coming up to touch her cheek. Jade's eyes sparkled.
"Then trust me to help save it" she said, taking his hand and intertwining their fingers. He looked at their clasped hands,
"Always…" he said quietly, tilting his head down towards her. Jade hesitated and then allowed him to kiss her, returning it gently. It had been a long time since they were in this position, too long. She let herself enjoy the moment for a minute, well…maybe two. It wasn't until she felt his hand slide down her back and pull her closer, that she broke the kiss.
"…and forever" She whispered softly, slowly backing out of his arms and letting his hand go as she moved away toward the door.
"Be careful!" he warned. She nodded and with a rather peaceful expression opened the door and exited.
Jade pulled herself back to the present as she steered the ice ship onto the visitors landing platform. She powered down the engine and proceeded to swing down the stairs.
A small group of guards had come to meet her; she recognised most of them even with their armour present. Jade strode through the little assembly, almost daring them to try and 'lead' her to the throne room. Jade had been Lord Mantle's commander for over five years, these guards knew who she was and none were stupid enough to touch her. The small party meerly followed her, looking very much like she was once again leading them.
They arrived at the throne room. Two quarriors pushed open the large stone doors to allow them access. Jade strode confidently through; it was almost like the old days. Lord Mantle sat upon his throne, its arm crumbling from a recent blow. There was a guard on either side of the throne. Jade glanced at the guard to the left, her old position. Did she miss it? Being the left hand of Lord Mantle, hmmm, yes…she did, she missed the respect the quarriors showed her. Even though the alliance members respected her it wasn't the same.
She was pulled from her thoughts as she halted before the stairs of Lord Mantle's throne. She clasped her fist with her left hand and bowed her head in the Rock gesture of respect.
"So, you have returned again, and I hope for your sake it is not by the bidding of the 'traitor'."
"Lord Mantle…Graveheart is not aware I am here" Jade stated flatly. A glint of curiosity appeared for a second in the rock lord's eyes.
"So you have left the alliance"
"THEN I HAVE NO TIME FOR YOUR TRECHERY!"
Jade bowed her head at his sharp words; she looked back up when he was finished banging on his throne.
"Lord Mantle, I came here to discuss a certain matter with you…with just you."
The quarriors glanced at one another. Lord Mantle's eyes narrowed,
"If you do not agree or are displeased with what I have to say then you may send me where you will." Jade finished.
The rock king looked thoughtfully at his ex-commander. She was no fool, probably the best captain he'd ever seen. She had always done her job thoroughly and respectfully, never crossing any lines…until it came to the exile.
Decision made, Lord Mantle stood up.
"Very well, guards! Leave us!" He began to descend the stairs.
"So, Jade, what do you have to say?"
Jade looked up slowly into the king's rather cold eyes. His use of her name softened the hardness a bit and she drew upon her courage to speak her mind.
"I joined the alliance, not because I believed in its cause, but because I trusted an old friend. However through its expansion and development, I have seen the alliance succeed where rock has failed. But today, the alliance goes up against an enemy that neither can hope to destroy alone. The assault upon Planet Remora and ultimately the Beast Planet has already begun. Standing beside Graveheart as he leads the alliance; I really do believe that it would be a worthy ally for our world.
Lord Mantle had remained silent during the whole exchange, quite unusual. Jade had observed his changing expression going from angry to furious and now to thoughtful.
"You say you stand beside the exile while he leads?" Jade nodded.
"How much power do you have over the alliance?" Lord Mantle questioned. Jade frowned,
"I'm…not really sure" she said.
"Tell me exactly what you are requesting."
"Planet Rock and its battle moons to help destroy Remora" Jade said firmly. Lord Mantle continued to look thoughtful, as though piecing a puzzle together without knowing what the picture was.
"My battle moons and allegiance come with a heavy price Jade; however, there may be a deal to make."
Jade looked on; knowing that whatever Lord Mantle wanted she had to give it to him, for the sake of Graveheart and the alliance.
"If I send my battle moons over to help the alliance I will send you with them as reinstated captain of my guard…" Jade blinked, she had not been expecting that.
"…In exchange I want you to give me full control of the alliance." Jade took this in stride beautifully. Inside she was doing back flips. Graveheart was in charge, how was she to give Lord Mantle control?
"My lord, I…do not have control of the alliance myself, the power is not mine to give"
"I'm aware that is the case now, however, with your standing they will gradually trust you with more of that power; my condition is that when they do you will hand it over to your king."
"If they knew I was going to do that then…" A nervous look appeared on Jade's face. Lord Mantle was asking her to secretively give him power over her friends so that he could take over the alliance without the consent of the other members. He was asking her to betray not only Graveheart but all the alliance. She weighted the pros and cons. If she consented then Lord Mantle would join the alliance, she could destroy Remora with the battle moons and thus save her friends, regain her honour and statue as commander amongst the army. It was then that it hit her. This was all about survival, sacrifices to keep the battle going. If planet rock didn't join the alliance now they never would and would thus be doomed against the Beast. There was only chance for survival.
"I agree" Jade said firmly. Lord Mantle nodded with expectancy.
"Good…now swear it"
Jade knelt before him, and made the Rock gesture of respect, she then looked up at him.
"I swear…on Graveheart's life to help you gain full control of the alliance."
Lord Mantle looked surprised and intensely intrigued by her promise, but only for a second.
"Very well…you may rise Jade of Rock, chief commander and Captain of my Royal Guard."
Jade stood up slowly. Lord Mantle looked almost happy, if that were possible. He beckoned her to follow him,
"I will say this now; my quarriors have missed your leadership greatly"
He had said the right thing. Jade looked deeply flattered, her eyes sparkling. For any other woman, even a rock woman, a compliment about their appearance, hair or body perhaps, would have pleased them. But not Jade. To say that the rock army had missed her command was among the highest possible praise she, as a warrior, could accept and relish.
Lord Mantle noticed her smile, and chuckled,
"I will give you complete and immediate use of my battle moons to use in the alliance's assault"
"Thankyou my lord" Jade said, still glowing from his compliment. Lord Mantle ordered the doors to be opened. Feldspar and a large group of quarriors were waiting out side.
"Sire…" began Feldspar
"ARE YOU NOT GOING TO ACKNOWLEGE YOUR COMMANDER!" he roared.
Feldspar turned from his king slowly to Jade, he looked surprised, but immediately gave her the gesture of respect. The quarriors followed.
"Good…now I have decided Rock will join the alliance and to reinstate the captain of my guard, he turned to Jade, do whatever you must."
Jade bowed her head,
The rock king proceeded back to his throne room. Several of the quarriors followed him; each once either slapped Jade on the back or gave her the thumbs up.
Jade turned to the remaining group. Feldspar looked as though he was trying very hard not to welcome her back.
"Oh, come on Feldspar, don't lie and say you haven't missed me" Jade smirked. Feldspar looked as though he'd been thinking along those lines, but hesitated, before sticking out his hand.
"It's good to have you back commander"
Jade grinned, took the hand, and pulled him into a one armed hug, shocking the stones out of him.
"It's good to be back"
The quarriors laughed at their old captain's embarrassment and the humour of their reinstated commander. Jade pulled away.
"Sorry…couldn't resist, she turned to the men, prepare all battle moons for immediate use against Remora, NOW!" the men jumped to action.
Instead of taking the blade wing, Jade boarded her old rock ship, and exited for the lead battle moon.
Had she made the right decision? Yes, it was the only choice she had. She doubted that her friends would forgive her for her treachery, but if it meant their lives then she was willing to do whatever she must. Before all this was over, Jade knew she had to meet repercussions of her bargain.